Two new property trends hitting South Africa

 ·5 May 2024

Multi-generational living and short-term rentals are increasingly in demand in South Africa amid a push for adaptable living.

According to Alexa Horne, MD of DG Properties, the group is seeing rising interest in adaptable homes with spaces that can be converted into separate flatlets or self-contained rooms.

“This can take the form of a garage, loft, spare room, pool house, garden shed, etc., that can be turned into a self-contained dwelling,” Horne said.

“Homes that lend themselves to this trend feature flexible layouts and amenities – whether it is a potential separate living space, additional bathrooms, or separate entrances to provide privacy.”

“There is also increasing demand for houses that are set on larger pieces of land which offer space for home extensions, or the development of separate dwellings on the same property – such as a garden cottage.”

Multigenerational living

Many South African families are embracing multi-generational living, with elderly parents moving in with their children or vice versa. This trend is also seen with extended families, such as aunts, uncles and cousins moving in.

Although Horne said that the reasons for this are varied, economic factors and the rising cost of owning and maintaining a home are the primary reasons for many.

“By sharing living expenses and pooling resources, multiple generations can afford to make ends meet.”

“Another big reason is that intergenerational living allows ageing parents or grandparents to receive companionship, support and care as they age.”

“Likewise, older family members that are still able can take pressure off the younger working generation by helping with childcare needs, home maintenance, groceries, etc. And some families may choose to live together to maintain close ties, provide mutual support, and foster strong family bonds.”

With life expectancy continuing to grow, multi-generational living is likely to continue to gain popularity as a viable option for many families.

Short-term rentals

On the other hand, many people are also converting parts of their homes into short-term rental spaces that are rented on Airbnb and

The reason for this is mainly financial, as South Africans try to make extra income, especially in areas with lots of tourists like Cape Town.

“Renting out unutilised space as a short-term rental is usually more lucrative than traditional long-term rentals – especially in popular tourist destinations or during peak seasons – and provides flexibility as the homeowner can choose when to make their space available for guests, as opposed to having a long-term tenant there all the time,” said Horne,

“For these dominant reasons, the demand for homes that lend themselves to adaptable living has been growing and as these trends continue, it’s likely that developers and homeowners will increasingly prioritise properties that meet the diverse needs of modern households.”

Read: What the average house price in South Africa gets you in Durban, Joburg and Cape Town

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